As of now 6 Dalit families in Karur have converted to Islam, while another 50 have expressed interest.
The growing differences between the Dalits and a section of the upper caste has reached a flashpoint where 250 Dalits have declared that they will convert to Islam. As of now 6 families in Karur have converted to Islam, while another 50 have expressed interest.
BASIC RIGHTS IN JEOPARDY
In the tiny towns of Vedaranyam and Karur , the families who made this announcement say that they have been denied their basic rights.From participating in the Vedaranyam temple festival to denial of entry into the Mahashakti Amman temple, they feel that their basic social rights have been stripped off them.
FAMILIES SEEKING LIFE OF DIGNITY
When India Today spoke to Abdul Rehman, the General secretary of the Tamil Nadu Tauhid Jamaat, he said that as of today a total number of 6 families have already converted to Islam.
Another 50 families have expressed interest in converting to Islam.’ ‘They are looking for a life with no discrimination. All that we are saying is that we will provide them a life of dignity and equality and one that will safeguard their human rights.’
NOT ALLOWED TO STEP ON OWN LAND
Meena, who is one of those who converted to Islam said ‘We are raising the complaint that Maha Sakthi Maria man temple was constructed with the help of our ancestors but today we are not allowed to take part in temple rituals. Nobody has come forward to help us, so we’ve decided to convert to Islam. Nobody forced us.’
Nearly 200 families in Pazhangallimedu village in the district of Nagapattinam have raised their voices against not being able to participate and conduct the annual Aadi festival at the bhadrakali amman temple.
The flashpoint remains that initially the temple was built on Dalit land and it was only after floods in that area several years ago that the temple location was shifted, thus they allege giving the higher caste a way to show their highhandedness.
One of those working as a pro-Dalit functionary said that of the five days that the temple festival is held, they are asking for ‘madangapadi’ rights on one day during the festivities.
HOW HISTORY DOESN’T PERMIT THIS RESTRICTION
Going back in history, the Dalits from Malaikovilur say that the Mahashakti Amman temple was built using their contribution and in no way they could be denied entry to it.
Nagapattinam’s BJP unit along with some right wing organisations have said that they will try and resolve the issue after holding talks with the Dalit leaders.
In 1981, a similar flashpoint was seen in Thirunelveli and there were mass conversions to Islam in a village called Meenakshipuram.